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Jan 09

Clarification of State Rules and SOPs

Regional knowledge bowl coordinator Dale “Cros” Croswell reports on an important rules and SOP discussion had at the recent state knowledge bowl meeting:

There were two state rules addressed at our state meeting this fall, and as we approach our last couple of league meets and then the regional meet, I wanted to stress these two points with you all. I think we follow them for the most part, but it might be worth double checking to make sure we and our kids are all on the same page.

Although these are not rule changes, they are areas where we had inconsistency last year at the state level and feedback indicated we could improve this consistency during this school year.

The rules pertaining to these two points of emphasis are specifically printed here with a brief explanation:

“2. Each team may have up to four members “in” at one time, who must be seated facing the Reader/Judge.” and “6. The timing device display must be visible to the team members. Each team will be seated directly in front of their team “bar.”

One item that arose is whether or not students must sit directly facing the reader and the timing device in a straight line, or may sideways or in pods (so students have to turn their heads to see the reader/timing device). The rule clearly states that the students must face (not turn to see) the reader and timing device. This means that students will not be able to arrange the desks in the room in a square and face ach other, but need to be in a line facing the reader/judge. The issue at state that was brought up was that students could see audience members directly behind them or in their peripheral vision and might be getting visual hints. The straight line helps to prevent any communication between participants and non-participants.

Although you may not have witnessed such actions from our own kids, this is a point of emphasis from the state, and as such needs to be followed by us at our meets as well, so that we can do our best to simulate the conditions students will experience during regional and state tournaments.

“15. A question may be re-read only if the team responding to a partially read question has answered it incorrectly and the other team(s) has not buzzed in. Only the team(s) not buzzed in may request the re-reading of the question.”

The inconsistency of readers’ knowledge of the rules may be the reason for confusion here.
– If Team A buzzes in before a question is completely read and gives an incorrect response, Team B or Team C (if neither has buzzed in) may ask for the question to be re-read (repeated).
– If Team A and Team B both buzz in before a question is completely read and both answer incorrectly, Team C (not having buzzed in) may then ask for the question to be re-read (repeated).
– If all three teams have buzzed in before the completion of a question, the question shall not be completed, and the students must use the information they have at that point to try and answer the question.

The issue that came up at our state meeting was that in some rooms at state, the readers did not re-read the question, but only finished the question. I want to futher stress that although a team may recall the first part of an unfinished question and may ask the reader to “finish” the question, the SOP here is that the reader is to re-read the entire question in such a situation, not just finish it. The intent is that the reader will start over from the beginning of that question, not pick up from where he/she left off, regardless of what the kids ask for.